U.S. home sales spike an unprecedented 24.7% in July

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Sales exploded in every region in the country, led by the Northeast and West

The coronavirus pandemic helped shape the housing market by influencing everything from the direction of mortgage rates to the inventory of homes on the market to the types of homes in demand and the desired locations.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — U.S. home sales rose an unprecedented 24.7% in July as extraordinarily low mortgage rates, and a desire for more space in the pandemic, fuel demand.

A June rebound has stretched to July after the coronavirus pandemic all but froze the housing market in the spring, usually a time when house hunters are most active.

National Association of Realtors said Friday that sales of existing homes jumped last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.86 million. With consecutive months of record-breaking gains, purchases are up 8.7% from a year ago. Home sales rose 20.7% in June, a record that lasted one month.

The housing market has been one of the more resilient sectors of the economy during the pandemic, but market activity continues to hinge on supply, which was limited even before the coronavirus outbreak.

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